Ensemble: fl. cl. ob. fg / tr. trbn. / guit. / vln. vcl.
First performance: 10/11/2006, GAMEC, Bergamo (Ensemble dell’Istituto “G. Donizetti”, P. Cattaneo cond.)
The title of the piece, a veiled reference to the “Untimely Meditations” by Nietzsche (“Considerazioni inattuali”, in Italian), already reveals the structure of the piece, which is actually a kaleidoscopic criticism to the Italian futurism. It is, indeed, a sequence of six “conversations” drawn between textual fragments and musical ideas. The cultural inputs come both from the futurism and from the futurism’s detractors, as well as from other sources, linked with the cultural panorama of futurist period, or linked with the themes of the “conversations”. The composer is a composer in an etymological sense: he places, moves, joins, cuts the different dowels of the talk. The privileged interlocutors (clarinet, female voice and electronic) change each time their function within the conversation: proposing, agreeing or disagreeing, while the instrumental ensemble acts more like a resonance box. Each one of the six episodes has its own instrumentation and its own hierarchy between the characters, by means of which it is aimed to focus on an aspect of the futuristic Weltanschauung. The result of these interactions is a sort of heterogeneity, even if some common elements (i.e. the use of musical fragments from “Les chants de la mi-mort”, by Alberto Savinio) build the lattice of cross-references across the episodes.
The first criticism is a musical one, and it is linked with the Varèse’s thought: «Why, Italian Futurists, have you slavishly reproduced only what is commonplace and boring in the bustle of our daily lives?» (it’s clear at the beginning the quotation of “Density 21.5″). The second episode is a critic about the rhetoric, about the frantic and overexcited tones, typical of the futurism (as in the well known case of the quoted Marinetti’s speech against the people of Venice). The third criticism is of a political kind: the history has already widely judged the futurists’ idea of war as the «only hygiene of the world» (from Marinetti’s “Manifesto”, 1909): it’s enough to reverberate its contradictions by means of the words of a lyric by Dario Bellezza. The fourth conversation is chiefly literary: borrowing the words of T.S. Eliot, it refers to the literary futurism as a corpse planted in a garden, a corpse that has no means to fully bloom («That corpse you planted last year in your garden, / Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?», “The Waste Land”, I), since where it fully bloomed (for example, in the Apollinaire of the fifth conversation, with his reading of “Le pont Mirabeu”), the frenzied and frenetic energy has left the place to a subtler sensibility and awareness. Finally, the last episode is a historical criticism (which includes and sublimes all the former critics): it uses the words of J. Joyce (“The Dead”) to convey the idea that a cultural movement that radically detaches itself from its past, is a movement without future – here comes then the widely quoted suite “Les chants de la mi-mort”, as if the “mi-mort” in the title were a reference to the futurism, already half-dead even when it was newly-born.